Once your property is ready to advertise, our specialist team kicks into action. We have a dedicated team managing the process of advertising, vetting applicants, booking and carrying out viewings, picking successful applicants and managing our comprehensive reference checks.
The majority of our time and energy is focused on this process as getting the right tenant into the property seamlessly is key to the future management and care of the tenant and the property.
Here's how we do it.
Once your property is ready to advertise we are one of just a handful of agents who still advertise absolutely everywhere. Many agents have cut back on this as it is still the biggest monthly cost for an agent. Although demand usually outstrips supply of good properties we still want to ensure we have the widest choice possible to ensure the best tenants view your property.
Specialist relocation agents are used by many Edinburgh companies to handle relocation of new employees, especially in the large financial sector. We work closely with the key relocation agents in Scotland and some of our best tenants are found through this source.
We always add a To Let board unless you request we don’t. We do still find that potential tenants see these – perhaps when their landlord is selling and they want to stay in the same street.
We start our vetting process when an applicant first calls or emails us. We only arrange viewings where we believe they will meet our affordability criteria, pass our credit checks and be suitable for the property.
All our viewers are accompanied and met individually by our Lettings Negotiator for new properties and when re-letting.
We never take 'first come first served' and always collect offers to discuss with our clients, unless we already know they’re happy for us to choose.
Regardless of how good a potential tenant looks on paper every decision is referred back to the Lettings Negotiator who met them to ensure they are a suitable tenant.
We use a third party company to vet our chosen applicants and/or their guarantors on the following:
- Employer/income reference
- Risk profile (credit scoring)
- Linked address, identity & fraud information
- Voters roll information
- Public information such as bankruptcy
- Previous landlord reference
We try to ensure a 12 month initial contract is established initially but will advise when this is not possible or advisable or if the best tenant cannot commit to this.
Our default management is to then allow those tenancies to roll on a monthly basis with two months’ notice from either side to end the tenancy. Tenants sometimes ask us to renew a year at a time so they have security and we would check each time that a client is happy with this.
All of our tenancies are set up as short assured tenancies which means we sign:
- AT5 documents
- Tenant Information Packs
- Prior Grounds
- Lease agreement
The Repairing Standard as it relates to safety has been strengthened a lot and we believe this is a good thing to protect tenants although we understand this is providing additional costs for landlords most of the substantial costs are at the outset.
We can arrange the following for you which are required before a tenant is checked in:
- Satisfactory fire/smoke alarm system
- Landlord gas safety certificate
- Carbon monoxide alarm/s
- Satisfactory Electrical Inspection Condition Report (EICR)
- Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) certificate
- Legionella Risk Assessment and confirmation risks have been removed or mitigated
Although we understand that many clients will be excellent cleaners, we do try to ensure our tenants get consistent service and this is one of the things that tenants appreciate and give us good reviews for. For this reason we always arrange a final clean of the property. The cleaner it is the less they’ll have to clean but they have the right cleaning materials to ensure even the worst oven goes back to as new condition inside.
Our inventories are long, detailed lists of everything in the property and the condition of everything from paintwork to taps. They include pictures of everything and further detail on any wear and tear or damage so that a clear and unambiguous condition report on the property can be agreed with the tenant.
This is essential to ensure we retain our record of always negotiating for required deposit deductions and always winning any dispute with a tenant.
We will agree to any changes noted by a tenant where required and sign the inventory on our client’s behalf with the tenant.
Some agents have tenants collect keys or just meet them and give them the keys. With the best will in the world most tenants will not read all their obligations in the lease and we believe this is the best chance we have to ensure tenants understand their obligations and how to manage and look after the property.
We go through a detailed checklist with them including:
- Safety checks and certificates
- Heating and ventilation
- Care of flooring and furnishings
Unless otherwise agreed we always ensure gas, electric and council tax accounts are switched from the landlord into the tenants name for our clients and between tenancies. We try to ensure this is done efficiently as possible and that any bills for short periods between tenancies come to us to check and pay on client’s behalf. Utility companies and councils are not great at billing so our clients just need to forward any correspondence to us and we will deal with it.
Our lease clearly states that our tenants are responsible for TV licences, landlines, broadband and other services. Our Agency agreement has more details on this or you can just ask.
We usually collect a deposit equivalent to the monthly rent plus £200. We do take more for some student properties. The maximum allowed in law is two times the monthly rent.
All deposits received from tenants must be lodged with an approved Tenancy Deposit Scheme provider. We have chosen to lodge all our deposits with SafeDeposits Scotland. We will ensure that this is done in the required timescales and that tenants receive the correct Prescribed Information.